Clever little ideas

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  • #1
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Welcome to the "Clever little ideas" thread. :smile:

This is one of the most collectively intelligent groups I have the pleasure of knowing. I'm sure that there are several clever methods you have for doing tasks, handling equipment, aplliances, cooking, cleaning, computers, etc., in your daily lives. How about sharing some of them?

I'll start.

When I have a greasy job to do, such as changing the oil in a car, I take some liquid soap and rub it into my hands until it is dry. Then when I finish the job, washing the liquid soap off your hands carries away most of the oil and dirt with minor trouble and much less scrubbing.
 

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  • #2
BobG
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The hose that supplied washer fluid to my rear window developed a hole. When I tried to wash the rear window, the washer fluid squirted onto the car sitting behind me at the intersection.

My clever idea: I didn't fix the hole. Instant defense against tailgaters. They follow too close, I'd have my Cherokee pee on them.

Edit: Obviously, I'm hedging my bets. If I don't win 'most intelligent', at least I still have a chance at 'laziest'.
 
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  • #3
The hose that supplied washer fluid to my rear window developed a hole. When I tried to wash the rear window, the washer fluid squirted onto the car sitting behind me at the intersection.

My clever idea: I didn't fix the hole. Instant defense against tailgaters. They follow too close, I'd have my Cherokee pee on them.
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Hehe I like that! And if you really wanted too, you could subsitute the fluids with acetone-but that's kinda cruel..(doh and flammable)

Here's mine- when I cut onions I do so with the onion submerged in water-no more tears!
 
  • #4
turbo
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My wife and I keep spray bottles around filled with 50:50 rubbing alcohol and water. It's a great cleaner (especially windows, mirrors, counter-tops) and it's really cheap.
 
  • #5
brewnog
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Make your own fossils by putting fish bones in a bucket of cement.

Then leave them out in the garden as a fun weekend activity for children.
 
  • #6
Danger
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For removing cat hair from clothes, duct tape wrapped inside-out around a beer can works great.
I have no idea if this next one works or not; I've never tried it. Someone told me decades ago that if you need to cut glass without a proper tool you can lay a string soaked in lighter fluid down on it in the pattern you want and light it. A mild tap then supposedly breaks it along the burn line.
 
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  • #7
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Someone told me decades ago that if you need to cut glass without a proper tool you can lay a string soaked in lighter fluid down on it in the pattern you want and light it. A mild tap then supposedly breaks it along the burn line.
Or ask the fire department to bring a mower with them when they come to put out the flames. :rofl:

(Sorry Danger, couldn't resist.)

Jeez, I read that as saying "grass!" :rofl: :yuck: :rofl: Darn, where's the moron smiley?
 
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  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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When I have a greasy job to do, such as changing the oil in a car, I take some liquid soap and rub it into my hands until it is dry. Then when I finish the job, washing the liquid soap off your hands carries away most of the oil and dirt with minor trouble and much less scrubbing.
I learned that trick from an Amway salesman. He used this as a sales point for their general cleaning product.

When I was a kid, my uncle bought me a season ticket for the L.A. Rams games for several years in a row. While learning to maneuver the Coliseum at which we became real pros, I learned that one can cut through any large crowd by holding up a cup of hot coffee and announcing, "Coming through, look out, hot coffee!!!". For some reason people part like the Red Sea and make room. :biggrin:
 
  • #9
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I'm not completely sure about this one, maybe some of you physics guys can chime in on this, but my dad told me years ago that if you buy gasoline in the morning when it is cooler, you will get more volume per gallon than if you buy it later in the day when it is warmer and lower density.
 
  • #10
turbo
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I'm not completely sure about this one, maybe some of you physics guys can chime in on this, but my dad told me years ago that if you buy gasoline in the morning when it is cooler, you will get more volume per gallon than if you buy it later in the day when it is warmer and lower density.
Gasoline stored in underground tanks does not change temperature very much. As a kid, I worked part-time for a grocery store with gas pumps, and I used to go check the levels with a graduated scale and wipe down the stick with a rag between readings. That gas was always pretty cool even on hot days.
 
  • #11
brewnog
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Gasoline stored in underground tanks does not change temperature very much. As a kid, I worked part-time for a grocery store with gas pumps, and I used to go check the levels with a graduated scale and wipe down the stick with a rag between readings. That gas was always pretty cool even on hot days.
By the time it's gone through rubber hoses in the sunshine it's heated up and expanded quite a bit, but this is after the meter so there's not a lot of difference.
 
  • #12
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put some vegetable oil on a rag to easily rub off peeled off sticker residue.
 
  • #13
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I used to manage a gas station, and most meters nowadays are adjusted for this. In the past (like, 30+ years ago), this was true, but not anymore. They measure the temperature of the fuel going through them, and adjust the volume it reads accordingly.
 
  • #14
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I used to manage a gas station, and most meters nowadays are adjusted for this. In the past (like, 30+ years ago), this was true, but not anymore. They measure the temperature of the fuel going through them, and adjust the volume it reads accordingly.
Yeah, it was about 30 years ago.
 
  • #15
Moonbear
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And even if theoretically true, in reality, the difference would probably be pretty imperceptible for a typical tank of gas, or else you lose it when it spills out of the tank as it expands AFTER in the vehicle (I hear that really is an issue in hot climates, but gas caps have been designed to help prevent it?).
 
  • #16
BobG
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If you need to cut a cake at a party and need a lot of pieces cut quickly, but neatly, dental floss soaked in water works great. You can make a perfectly straight cut the entire length of the cake.

I save my used dental floss just for this reason. :yuck:
 
  • #17
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If you need to cut a cake at a party and need a lot of pieces cut quickly, but neatly, dental floss soaked in water works great. You can make a perfectly straight cut the entire length of the cake.

I save my used dental floss just for this reason. :yuck:
Cool idea. This would be great for where I work. We have monthly birthday parties with cake. This would save cleaning a kife before and after use and cut the cake faster.

I'll start saving used floss myself! (heh heh, more cake for me if they find out.) :biggrin:
 
  • #18
Art
And even if theoretically true, in reality, the difference would probably be pretty imperceptible for a typical tank of gas, or else you lose it when it spills out of the tank as it expands AFTER in the vehicle (I hear that really is an issue in hot climates, but gas caps have been designed to help prevent it?).
The thermal expansion coefficient for gasoline is 950 x 10 -6 compared to water which is 210 x 10 -6 so although 4x that of water it still seems pretty minute when talking about a car fuel tank. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~vawter/PhysicsNet/Topics/Thermal/ThermExpan.html [Broken]

about 1% change for a 10 C change in temperature.
 
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  • #19
berkeman
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-- When doing pushups, pause for about 2 seconds at the top each time. This lets blood flow back into your muscles to get oxygen back in (you can feel the whoosh in your arm muscles). You'll be able to do about 50% more pushups with this trick, although it will take about 200% longer!

-- When going on your training runs, take along a GripMaster light tension (4-button) hand exerciser. Gently work the buttons as you run, and switch hands a few times per mile. It's amazing how much easier it makes the run go. Must take your mind off the run or something.

-- After learning about brake and throttle control at a racetrack school on my sportbike, and after reading a performance driving book about left-foot braking when driving a car with an automatic transmission, I started using both feet when driving my car. It's amazing how much you can smooth out your driving, cornering, stopping, starting, etc., if you use both controls together in the transitions. Roll off the throttle as you roll onto the brakes, and visa-versa. It's the fastest way around a racetrack, and it's the smoothest way to drive on the street. Great stuff!
 
  • #20
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Clever little ideas:

1. Don't waste your money on expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the object you wish to view.

2. Your neighbor's car aerial, carefully folded, makes a usable coat hanger in an emergency.

3. Save electricity by turning off all the lights in your house and walking around wearing a miner's hat.

4. Avoid parking tickets: leave your wipers turned on when you park.

5. Use a telephone directory as a free personal address book. Simply cross out people you don't know.

6. Safety tip. When throwing someone a knife or other sharp instrument, always throw it blade first as they invariably tend to turn in the air.

7. Extend the life of your carpets by rolling them up and keeping them in the garage.

8. Thicken up runny low-fat yogurt with a spoonful of lard.

9. If your vegetarian guests claim that tofu, Quorn and other meat substitutes tastes exactly like the real thing then serve them meat. They won't know the difference.

10. Make shopkeepers feel as you do by meticulously inspecting bank notes against the light before accepting them.

11. Keep the seat next to you vacant by smiling and nodding at people as they walk up the aisle.

12. Dyslexics, deliberately misspelling words gives you a better chance of spelling them correctly.

13. Quit smoking tip. Stick one cigarette from each new pack up a fat friend's behind, filter first, and put it back in the box. This simple step significantly reduces the temptation to have another.

14. Put an end to exasperating seat-up/seat-down debates, pee in the sink.

15. Bring your girlfriend to tears when you're having sex: phone her up and tell her.

16. Deter goldfish from having sex by throwing a small bucket of cold air over any that you catch in the act.

17. Spice up your sex life with rodeo sex: take her from behind, call her by the wrong name and time how long you can stay mounted.

18. An empty aluminum cigar tube filled with angry wasps makes a renewable-energy vibrator.
 
  • #21
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-- After learning about brake and throttle control at a racetrack school on my sportbike, and after reading a performance driving book about left-foot braking when driving a car with an automatic transmission, I started using both feet when driving my car. It's amazing how much you can smooth out your driving, cornering, stopping, starting, etc., if you use both controls together in the transitions. Roll off the throttle as you roll onto the brakes, and visa-versa. It's the fastest way around a racetrack, and it's the smoothest way to drive on the street. Great stuff!
on a stick your always hitting the clutch so i can see using two feet but wouldn't you just be revving the engine and burning up your brake pads faster with an automatic?
 
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  • #22
berkeman
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on a stick your always hitting the clutch so i can see using two feet but wouldn't you just be revving the engine and burning up your brake pads faster with an automatic?
Not very much. You only do it in the transitions, so by the time you are hard on the brakes, you are mostly off the gas, and visa versa. On a sportbike for example, you are taught at the racetrack classes to coordinate the motion of your right hand, so that as you roll off the throttle, you are progressively squeezing the front brake lever harder and harder. This helps the front suspension to compress progressively, which maximizes traction and gives you the strongest braking forces that you can get out of the front tire.

And if you try it in your car, you'll find that mid-corner braking while on the gas can help to settle the suspension some and get you through the corner quicker.
 
  • #23
Danger
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I always use my left foot on the brake with an automatic. Aside from the advantages already mentioned, it significantly reduces reaction time. (When in an 'iffy' situation, I keep my foot hovering a half-inch or so above the pedal.)
 
  • #24
berkeman
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I always use my left foot on the brake with an automatic. Aside from the advantages already mentioned, it significantly reduces reaction time. (When in an 'iffy' situation, I keep my foot hovering a half-inch or so above the pedal.)
Great minds think alike! I also use it to reduce reaction time in those situations, but forgot to mention that. Thanks, Danger. :cool:
 
  • #25
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I think I read once that the average person spends almost 24 hours of their lifetime looking for the remote for the TV. Could someone please invent a button on the tv so that when you push it, your remote starts beeping? I'm not sure if this has already been done before.
 

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